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  #1  
Old 01/04/10, 09:34 PM
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heat bulb in chicken house ??

This is my first year EVER at having to keep a red heat lamp in the chicken house for my girls...it has been so cold the past week so had to do something as my chicken house is not insulated...i know i should had insulated it but like i said before i have never had to use a heat lamp~has'nt been this cold in forever and my girls are 'getting older'.....the girls do use the lamp during the day and a few sleep under it at night.......am thinking i may need another one for the rest of the girls as not enough room for 14 and 3 guineas all at one time....

Just wondering if anyone else has or is using a heat lamp for their girls during this cold spell we are having??? Do you know any pros or cons against or for use??

Also i have it tied so it can't fall or catch anything on fire...worse thing to happen i guess is bulb could get broken but i think i have it high enough that girls can't bump it to break it..................

Any good~bad~or indiiferent opinions?? just wondering what you all do for your girls during this frigid weather we're having??

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Old 01/04/10, 09:46 PM
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I made the first & only mistake of not securing one so it will NOT get knocked down. That is how I lost my first flock of buff pullets & guinea chicks & the coop we built.

This time I got a large brooder build & secured it very well and higher up so it wont get knocked down. I cant even pull it down. They are warm & toasty at night.

My coop is an old camper & the insulation is lacking thus us installing a bulb. They need it do to us having an actual real winter here in Texas. It seems to suit them just fine & help keep a good egg flow. I leave it on all night & day for them. But they have free run of the coop during the day so they can stay in there for free range the place if they choose.

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  #3  
Old 01/04/10, 10:41 PM
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I don't like the use of heat bulbs, I have seen them cause to many fires. And if the chickens happen to touch then, there is a burned chicken. I live in the Sierra foothills, so it gets cold. None of my coops are insulated and I only use a 60 watt bulb for each 8 x 8 coop. On the 8 x12 coops I use 2 bulbs. The chicken door is open at all times. Yet, I have found that if the temp stays above 30 degrees, the chicken stay away from the heat. But it is there for them.

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Old 01/05/10, 12:29 AM
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If you use a proper reflector for the heat bulb, you should not have to worry about burned chickens or fires. For one thing, the socket would be ceramic so that it can withstand the heat. And the reflector would have a wire guard to prevent contact with birds or animals. Years ago, we used them for farrowing hogs with no problems as well as the chicken brooder house. The main thing is to have the wire securely fastened to a rafter or similar so that the unit can not possibly be dislodged and fall onto bedding even if a chicken happens to try to roost on it.

Martin

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  #5  
Old 01/05/10, 12:35 AM
 
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I use a regular 60 watt bulb. I mainly use it for extended lighting rather than for heat, though it does heat the coop up comfortably.

Both of my coops have a regular light socket fixture permanently installed, so there is no chance of the fixture falling.

I do occasionally keep the light on 24/7, like the other day when it when down to -2 degrees. When the temps start staying close to, or below single digits, I find that regular light bulbs burn out quickly, and I have found that a 75 watt flood light, last longer. One lasted me the whole winter last year, at a cost of $5.00, compared to replacing the regular 60 watt bulb every 3 or 4 days.

I close the chicken door in the evening after they have gone in for the night. The only time I close it during the day is if the temps go down near the single digits and they do fine.

Last winter, I was slightly overcrowed, it was blizzardy and near zero for about 3 weeks, and I closed them up. I was sorry I did that, and learned from that. No serious injuries, but alot of pecking went on, and I ended up with one in the house for a few days, as they had pecked her head bloody.

I wouldn't worry about heat unless you go below 30, and if you keep extended light on them to keep them laying, when the light goes off, between the heat it leaves, and their own body heat, they will be just fine.

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  #6  
Old 01/05/10, 09:41 AM
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Been using a red heat bulb tied secure and a reg light. The reg light is only on for 3 extra hours a day. Am about to get another red heat bulb set up in there since their water has been freezing up. I do not have an insulated coop house will be building one in the spring. My chickens have chosen NOT to come out of the coop its been so cold for almost 2 weeks now(from 10deg to -5deg). Weather reports freezing temps for at least another week. I chose the red heat lamp for heating since the lamp is on 24/7, I had read having a regular bulb on all the time will induce pecking and since there have been no pecking issue's I can only assume that this is correct.

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  #7  
Old 01/07/10, 09:19 AM
 
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I heard this on this site and now do it. Clean out the lamp in the heat lamp it can really collect the feather dust and that is a fire starter.

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  #8  
Old 01/07/10, 10:45 AM
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I staple plastic over the windows for the winter and have a 75 watt in there right now. I'm not letting the chickens out of the coop in this weather.

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  #9  
Old 01/07/10, 11:15 AM
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If chickens are dry, out of the wind/rain, are fed properly, and can roost to cover their toes, they probably do not need supplemental heat. I have never supplied it to chickens, ever, and we've had some scarily cold winter days. My chickens and muscovies free range each and every day of the year, and on the coldest they tend to stay inside. We don't provide supplemental lighting, either. Their water is outside so they do have to brave the elements for a minute each and every day but this seems to work out well for them. Most days they are out and about.

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  #10  
Old 01/07/10, 12:18 PM
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I wish mine would brave the weather. They havent come out of the coop house for 2 weeks now. They weren't even coming out for water so caved and put water in the house it has been so cold that the water is freezing now even with heat lamp and reg 60watt bulb. This morning the heat lamp wasnt on so checked it the filaments are fine but the glass separated from the metal base on the bulb now have to drive to town to get another.

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  #11  
Old 01/07/10, 02:51 PM
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Smile Yes to Heat Lamp Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paquebot View Post
If you use a proper reflector for the heat bulb, you should not have to worry about burned chickens or fires. For one thing, the socket would be ceramic so that it can withstand the heat. And the reflector would have a wire guard to prevent contact with birds or animals. Years ago, we used them for farrowing hogs with no problems as well as the chicken brooder house. The main thing is to have the wire securely fastened to a rafter or similar so that the unit can not possibly be dislodged and fall onto bedding even if a chicken happens to try to roost on it.

Martin
I agree with Martin that if you use the proper reflector designed for heat bulbs, and you secure the clamp, there should be no problems. My coop is an old block dairy barn with concrete floor, so once the sub-zero temps settle in it does get cold in the barn. We use the electric water heaters under our metal fountains and don't have to worry about water freezing.

Also.....if there is at least 6" of hay, wood chips & manure on the floor, it will help to insulate and will generate heat. We throw some scratch and the girls are entertained by scratching and fluffing up the litter. We just closed the door on our coop because today and tomorrow temps will be -20. We have about 12" of snow to boot and so neither the chickens or guineas are going out. I give them a head of cabbage, chopped bread, scratch, oil sunflower seeds and fresh hay to keep them entertained.

If only it would just quit snowing and blowing!
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Old 01/08/10, 12:19 AM
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I live in NE indiana- not far from MI. I used heat bulbs one year- I lost a good 5 birds for no apparent reason that winter. Last year, I used no heat, no lamps, coops chicken door open 24/7 with deep bedding- and these were young birds that I got in the fall. I only had one that I needed to bring up- she was getting picked on. She was dubbed "house chicken" since she stayed up at the house until spring. This year- so far I have not used any heat lamps- only loss so far was due to a rat attack on a cockerel (as least that is what I am assuming as he was bloody and no other birds were and no signs of disagreements with the others while I watching them all eat and drink). I am considering it as I am getting pretty tired of waterers freezing solid, but afraid of a repeat. I think the temperature change is harder on them than the cold itself.

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  #13  
Old 01/08/10, 07:18 AM
 
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We live in upstate NY, i have NEVER given the chickens any heat what so ever after they are feathered out, a good house, good feed, & a chicken door & a window open all yr & we have never had an issue with a bird getting to cold, they free range, & walk to the creek in 6 inches of snow every day to drink water, if the snow gets to deep for them to brave i will clear a path for them. there is NO need to waste money on electric on grown chickens they do just fine here & always have, for yrs & yrs. stop spoiling your birds & spending money you don't need to on heat lamps or lights to supply heat or light.
The only time we use a heat lamp is on a goat that kids in the dead of winter in crazy cold weather. & that only happens for the 1st few days until the kid gets on its feet good & eating properly.

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  #14  
Old 01/08/10, 02:32 PM
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I installed another brooder bulb (hood & guard) yesterday due to the water in the coop trying to ice over. They are nice & toast & fire free. I just secured the bulbs so that not even I can knock one down.

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Old 01/08/10, 03:07 PM
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Got down to 5F a few weeks back (South Central ID) and our Buff Orp roo ended up with a bit of black on his wattles and tips of his comb. The hens did fine. None the less, I installed a red heat lamp in the hen house and they've been fine since. I only plug it in if the temp drops into the teens. We also have a newly acquired heated waterer that we absolutely love (why did I wait so long to buy it?). Well worth the money.

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Old 01/08/10, 03:15 PM
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Since the fiasco of the heat bulb going defective and not being able to buy another because all the stores are sold out, they dont even have the ceramic deflectors. I am now down to using 100 watt bulbs..am wondering if I should have just let me chickens suffer at first and acclimate to the weather ?? Because another fear in our neck of the woods now is power loss, last year power was down for a week...

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Old 01/08/10, 03:26 PM
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We live in Southeast TX, not far from Houston. This is the first winter I'm worried out our girls. The house is not insulated and is open in the front. I feel like we should put a heat lamp in for the next couple of nights, but do not want to hurt the girls in anyway. Comments?????

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  #18  
Old 01/08/10, 04:54 PM
 
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I live in NE Indiana and we do get pretty cold in the winter. My coop is not insulated and I do not have any type of heat in it. As long as it's not drafty and the girls can get up on the roost to keep their tootsies warm they're good. They do get some frostbite on combs and wattles but it's nothing serious.
karen in NE Indiana

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  #19  
Old 01/08/10, 06:36 PM
 
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We use a red heat bulb when the temps go below freezing.Also we have one of those water heater pans in the coop,so it stays pretty warm in there.All rigged up so it`s safe from fire.
My hens seems to be happy and look very healthy and lay all winter.




Sharon

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  #20  
Old 01/08/10, 06:53 PM
 
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im in mn and have never used a heat lamp for the chickens. anybody ever hear of down coats?? it bites when the eggs freeze but then the dogs get those cooked up.

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  #21  
Old 01/08/10, 07:50 PM
 
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I am in northern Idaho and it can get to 20 below at night with a high of teens during the day and sometimes 25mph wind on top of that, usually happens at least two weeks during the winter. I've had chickens here for 10 years now. My winter coop (actually two tarp-covered hoop coops adjoining a shed that used to be the only coop) is uninsulated and very airy, the whole south end is just wire. Get some frozen comb sometimes but they pull out of it fine. Rather than sleep in the more protected shed part, they all sleep on the small log perches I put up in the hoops. The only reason they ever get a light in the shed is to keep them laying through winter, haven't done it this year yet though.

Go to plamondon.com and read his interesting info about Fresh Air Poultry Housing :-)

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  #22  
Old 01/08/10, 08:53 PM
 
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Some of mine have frostbitten combs, is that a problem? I'm in N. Idaho too. We've used heat on the coldest nights, so maybe they got frostbite running around outside. silly birds.

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  #23  
Old 01/08/10, 09:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DobbinMama View Post
We live in Southeast TX, not far from Houston. This is the first winter I'm worried out our girls. The house is not insulated and is open in the front. I feel like we should put a heat lamp in for the next couple of nights, but do not want to hurt the girls in anyway. Comments?????
My coop is also open on the front so I put out the red heat lamp for the girls tonight. Our low is about 10 which is unusually cold for us in central TX--I figure to be safe than sorry for a few nights. They were cuddling around it after sundown.
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